Posting Date: March 9, 2011
Meet Abe Craddock: Impacting the art scene
By Caitlin Amick
Photo by Sarah Singleton
Abe Craddock has always loved drawing and building things, but he did not discover his true passion until after taking classes at Kennesaw State University. Given the freedom to explore many different art mediums, including 3-D forms, sculpture, and painting, he quickly realized his love and talent for ceramics.
Ceramics is the ideal medium for Abe to express his newly altered outlook on the world. After experiencing what he calls a personal paradigm shift several years ago, most of Abe’s work is now influenced by the metaphysical concept of synergy. “Synergy is the idea that multiple things can come together to be stronger than the sum of their parts,” Abe explains. This idea is reflected in his artwork through the flowing and joining of multiple forms and figures in one piece. He also often uses tiny, similar shapes to make up a larger piece.
Abe considers Assistant Professor Keith Smith one of the most influential faculty members during his time at KSU. “He introduced me to lots of new shapes and designs. We would also engage in discussions that challenged my critical thinking skills and made me think for myself. He would present me with questions, but he would let me come to the answers on my own.”
Abe also credits Assistant Professor Donald Robson for helping him appreciate 2-D painting as another creative outlet. Robson shares, “Abe went to great lengths to create an artwork to match his vision, regardless of the cost or time involved. He always came up with a different slant on how to interpret a project, exactly what is expected of a good student.”
While studying ceramics at KSU, Abe was vice president of the KSU Sculpture Club. He says one of the most memorable experiences with the club was participating in the annual Iron Pour in downtown Atlanta. “It was a lot of hard work. We were working with molten metal, which can obviously be extremely dangerous. But, it was also thrilling and exhilarating. We were one of a handful of clubs participating in the event, and I really enjoyed the communal experience of making art together.”
Abe was also a member of Mudslingers, KSU’s ceramics club. Every year the club holds a “make-a-thon,” which Abe says is always a great time to learn new technique from peers. He also says Mudslingers is a great club for students to join because every year members have the opportunity to travel to the national ceramics conference hosted by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.
Since graduating in December 2010, Abe has been working towards opening his own ceramic studio in the Kennesaw area, called A-5 Studios. A-5 Studios will operate as both a studio and display space for local artists. He also plans to offer group and individual instruction classes on basic ceramic techniques. He is still working out the details, but Abe hopes the studio will open by June 2011.
“I have the emotional support of family and friends, but I’m responsible for the financing and figuring out all the details. It’s a huge undertaking, but it is also a really exciting opportunity for me to have my own impact on the local art scene.”